||'Do not be afraid,' replied Moses to the people. 'God only came to raise you up. His fear will then be on your faces, and you will not sin.'
Vayomer Moshe el-ha'am al-tira'u ki leva'avur nasot etchem ba ha'Elohim uva'avur tiheyeh yir'ato al-pneychem levilti techeta'u.
||The people kept their distance while Moses entered the mist where the Divine was [revealed].
Vaya'amod ha'am merachok uMoshe nigash el-ha'arafel asher-sham ha'Elohim.
|raise you up|
(Mekhilta; Rashi). Or, 'test' or 'prove you' (Saadia; Ibn Ezra; Hirsch; cf. Exodus 16:4); 'admonish you' (Rashbam), 'refine you' (Ramban); 'train you' or 'accustom you [to prophecy]' (Moreh Nevukhim 3:24; Sforno; Ramban; cf. Ibn Janach. See Deuteronomy 8:16.
Some say that this is the heavy cloud in Exodus 19:9 (Rashi). Araphel in Hebrew. Or, 'opaque darkness' (Hirsch; Radak, Sherashim; cf. Isaiah 60:2, Jeremiah 13:16, Joel 2:2). According to others, 'glowing mist' (Bachya; MeAm Lo'ez), or 'blinding light' (HaKethav VeHaKabbalah).
|where the Divine was revealed|
The narrative continues in Exodus 24:1.